How much debt do you have?

Most of us are managing debt of one form or another, but often we don’t appreciate the scale of it, or the variety. It builds up – a store card here, a credit agreement for a new computer there – and before you know it, you’re in trouble.

Take me for instance, which we should, as I created this blog especially so that I could be the centre of attention at all times. I don’t think of myself as having a lot of debt; I don’t have a mortgage, I’ve paid off my student loans, (woohoo!), and I don’t have any store cards. Brilliant! And then I remembered that I have a few thousand pounds left on a loan from when I bought a new car a couple of years ago. Not so debt free now am I? And then there’s my new Mac, which I bought on credit a couple of months ago – I have 10 months left to pay that off in full. Oh, and I have a couple of credit cards don’t forget – they don’t have much on, but maybe a couple of hundred pounds each. And then there we are, approaching the £5,000 mark, without even trying.

My point is that debt can creep up on us, and it’s very easy to get in trouble without even realising it, which is why PayPlan have put together a very simple online test to see how well you’re managing your debt and to help you spot any danger signs. PayPlan has been offering free, comprehensive advice, guidance and support for anyone struggling with debt since 1992, so they know what they are talking about.

You know I love a test, especially if it involves a certificate, (which this one doesn’t I’m afraid, but that’s no reason not to make your own), so I got stuck in.

You can take the test yourself here. Do it now, and then come back so we can compare results. View Post

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saving tips Aviva

So last week I did this quiz.

It was put together by Aviva, and the idea behind it was to make you think a bit more about your attitude to savings. My result came out as ‘The Enlightened One’ – I apparently have a good instinct for saving, but run the risk of being a bit complacent about it.

I think this sums me up pretty well. I know that I could do most things, if I chose to put my mind to them, it’s just that most of the time I choose to let things tick along as they are and sit down and watch repeats of Alan Partridge instead.

It’s not that I’m lazy…

Heck, who am I kidding? I so am. View Post

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financial personality quiz Aviva

 

You know I love a quiz.

Ideally it’s maths based, with a certificate at the end, and the heartfelt praise of a teacher, but anything will do. The quiz I took I about my potential adult ADHD was a bit scary, but we’ll brush over that one.

A few months ago I did a big overhaul of my pensions. I had accumulated seven separate pots from various jobs, and wanted to get them all in one place so that I could keep an eye on them properly without needing an entire filing cabinet. As part of the process of choosing how to invest, my financial advisor made me do a quiz about my attitude to risk. At the end she was very impressed. Apparently I had one of the highest scores she had ever seen. I’m not sure this is necessarily a good thing when it comes to planning for your retirement, but it’s fun. Fingers crossed for me for the Japanese small company market.

I was very excited then to have a go on the Aviva financial personality tool. I think a lot of us go through life without paying a lot of attention to exactly how we manage our money, other than whether or not we pay the bills on time, but understanding your attitude to money, and your strengths and weaknesses, is actually really important.

So, to the quiz. View Post

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save money on utilities bills

When was the last time you had a proper overhaul of your utilities? I mean a really good look at it, not just turning your heating down a degree or switching suppliers through a comparison site, just for the free Meerkat.

The average combined family bill in the UK for electricity, gas, water and sewage services, is now over £1,800, which is a hefty chunk of your expenditure every single month. With bills this high though, the good news is that this means there is plenty of scope for savings.

When it comes to utilities, it’s often a combination of lots of little things that work best, rather than one big change, so why not see how many of these you can tick off?

Understand your bills

One of the biggest reasons that we overspend on bills and services is that we simply don’t properly understand what we’re paying for. This video from Home Energy Scotland helps you get to grips with exactly what your bills mean, so you can feel in control of where your money is going. View Post

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Today I welcome back Jon from The Money Shed. Jon has written a couple of popular posts for me already – one about earning money from home without having to go near a survey, and another guide to matched betting, and today Jon has a few motivational words for you. I know for a fact that he recently went to America on his earnings from these work-at-home jobs, so he knows what he’s talking about.

ways to earn money from home

I chose this image especially for Jon as I know he’s a big fan of my cheesy stock pictures

Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or you work full time you probably feel that you’re pretty busy. It can be very easy to convince yourself that you have a lot on your plate and no time to take on anything else. Frankly this is untrue. 

Watching daytime TV or spending half your work day on your mobile phone is NOT being busy. It may feel important, at the time, as you’re desperate to know what the DNA results are, but you could be putting your time to much better use. View Post

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Children and finances tips NatWest

I hope my mum and dad will forgive me for saying that we had what could be described as a ‘financially somewhat turbulent’ childhood. Circumstances did not always work in our favour let’s say. Not that I mind at all. In fact, if anything, lacking financial security as a child has had a lot of positives; it has certainly made me appreciate the value of money, and how important it is to be careful with it

I’m not saying I’m a massive scrooge or anything, I like spending it too, I’m just respectful at the same time. They say that money can’t buy you happiness, and I totally agree with that, but a lack of money certainly isn’t fun, and so it’s important to have a good attitude towards both saving and spending.

As part of my current project with NatWest Money Clip, and with the help of my daughter Bee, who’s now 20, I’ve been thinking about children’s relationships with money, and how this impacts their financial health as adults, to try to come up with some strategies for teaching children about money management. NatWest have some great resources on their Telegraph finance hub too, so do check those out if you’d like more information.

My first question then, to get you thinking – how have your financial experiences as a child shaped your relationship with money as an adult? View Post

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money saving tips

How much money have you spent this week?

Chances are, you don’t actually know.

One of my fondest memories of my Gran is the fact that at the end of every day, she’d take out a tiny notebook and pencil from her handbag, (which always smelt of Chanel No 5), and she’d write down every penny she had spent that day. Even when she had plenty of money, she never relaxed that control. She wasn’t tight – she was very generous in fact – but she just liked to know.

We don’t do this so much these days do we? Relatively, we’re so much better off than we were when my Gran was bringing up a young family, and that’s obviously a good thing, but it does seem to mean that we’ve lost that ability to control day-to-day spending quite as efficiently.

It’s time to go retro with your finances, recapture that post-war budgeting spirit and save some pennies. View Post

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Dealing with debt Natwest Money Clip

How much debt do you have at the moment?

I’m not trying to depress you – I know January isn’t really the month you want to look at your credit card statements – I’m just curious. You don’t have to say out loud, just have a think and add it up.

Are you surprised? If it makes you feel better, the average UK household debt in the third quarter of last year was £11,800, its highest in five years. As far as I know, this doesn’t include mortgages.

Does that make you feel better or worse?

My own debt is less than this – more like the £4,000 mark – although that’s me personally rather than the household as a whole. Over the last ten years I’ve made a concerted effort to keep the debt I do have under control. Going through university, living an hour’s drive away, and bringing up a toddler on my own, got me into a lot of trouble financially. It took me a long time to take my head out of the sand and actually face up to the debts, let alone pay them off. Now though I’m clear – no bad debts, no student loans left – it’s a great feeling. View Post

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Keeping it in the family this week, this post is written by Belle, aged 13. Thanks Belle!

So thanks to Osper, this year I am able to splash out on the people I love for Christmas!

I have planned the budgeting, the people I am getting the presents for and even ideas of what to get them. I am normally RUBBISH at budgeting as I normally spend it all in one go on a game or a new, random bit of junk that don’t need and will probably never use, but being able to see your balance anywhere makes you think a bit more about what you are going to buy.

I made lists, drew sketches, practised mind mapping and even had to do a lot of thinking! If you would like to see more then just watch the video below:

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In my work as a digital marketing consultant* I’ve come across a lot of small businesses which have been given bad advice. It might be that they’ve had an agency managing their social media accounts, and they’ve not been happy with the results, or it could be that they’ve invested in a new website, only to discover it wasn’t really fit for purpose. All in all, it seems that running your own business can be a bit of a minefield.

(*I always feel very grown-up when I call myself that. It’s hard to reconcile that persona with the fact that last week I bought myself a plush grey and pink tortoise and called it Alan.)

It can actually be a very costly minefield, as being on the end of bad advice isn’t just a case of ‘Oh well, that didn’t work, what next?’ It can have a real impact on your business – financially and in terms of your reputation.

As the person giving the advice then, the pressure is on.

I’ve noticed a growing trend in the last couple of years for bloggers to start offering advice, particularly with things like web design and social media. This is great – it’s brilliant to see opportunities opening up for people to run their own businesses – but it also comes with risks.

Did you know for example, that customers could claim for compensation if they think your advice is negligent and has caused them a financial loss or damaged their reputation? Many clients may also ask you to provide proof of professional indemnity insurance before they work with you, especially if you’re working with local authorities or large companies.

If you provide a professional service, be it design, marketing, accountancy, IT, photography, or one of many other professions, it’s worth investing in professional indemnity insurance. This is the insurance that covers you should the worse happen, and your clients lose out due to any negligent advice or service you provide.

**Twitter party plug alert**

If you’re not sure about the types of insurance that your business needs, why not come along and join my Twitter chat on Tuesday 22nd September at 1pm?

Small business tips

**end of plug** View Post

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Updated for 2020!

Important Coronavirus / Covid-19 Update: If you are URGENTLY looking for additional income then please check out some of our blog posts such as How to earn money during Coronavirus which covers around £2000+ of extra income you can make from home, How to get up to £100 in Free Money during Coronavirus and 10 Creative Ways to make money during Coronavirus.

Do you remember a little while ago I hosted a post from Jon at The Money Shed about ways to earn money from home? Well, I have another post from Jon today – and easy matched betting how to guide. I’ve had a go to test the theory, and it worked, but Jon is an expert at matched betting and makes thousands! Why not give it a try and let me know how you get on? (Be careful and cautious with your money of course.)

Hi everyone – Jon again here from The Money Shed, the UKs largest community website for earning money from home.

I believe it was 90s one hit wonder artist Betty Boo who announced her arrival with the profound lyric “it’s me again, yes, how did you guess? ‘Cause last time, you were really impressed”

Indeed the last time I guest posted on this fantastic blog I told you 4 ways to earn over £600 a month from home and now I’m back with 1 way for you to earn over £1000 a month AND it’s TAX FREE. It’s called matched betting. It’s easy to do100% legal, very easy to follow and will have you earning some serious cash in as long as it takes you to make a bet online. It’s also worth mentioning that all this is RISK FREE. You will not lose money doing matched betting – it is not betting in the traditional sense. Basically you earn money by taking advantage of all the free bet offers that bookies give out and harnessing GUARANTEED PROFIT from them. 

I’ve been personally doing matched betting for the last 5 years and have earned over £40,000 so far (Which I’ve detailed on our Matched Betting Guide). You can do this even if you have never placed a bet in your life!

In this post I’m going to do give you enough of an understanding of how Matched Betting works so you understand the basics and should set you on the path to earning some major money from home. If you are after a more detailed guide then take a look at our 7000+ word Beginner’s Guide to Matched Betting

To get you in the mood, here’s a very short video to set the scene:

I am going to make you around £15 with zero risk in the next few minutes so listen closely.

The bookie we will be using is Coral and the exchange we will be using is Betfair so click through to both of those and make your setup your accounts now so that everything is ready for your to use!

Our Qualifying Bet – OK, it’s time to get our hands dirty. Bookies offer free bets all the time to both new and existing customers. Usually to get those free bets you need to do something like bet £20 and get a £10 free bet free. If you were betting normally there is a chance you might lose your £20 on your qualifying bet just to get access to the £10 free bet. We are going to overcome that problem by laying (betting against our bets) at the exchange (betfair).

Coral have a very simple and easy to follow sign up offer.

Bet £5 and get a £20 free bet.

To qualify for this £20 free bet we need to place a £5 bet at odds above 1.5. When we are doing matched betting we work in decimals so if you look at the VERY top of the coral website you will see you can select to use decimal – click that first.

In this example I am going to be using my £5 qualifying bet on Vitesse vs Cambuur. As you can see below the odds of Vitesse to win are 1.5 so this is perfect.

make money from matched betting

We now need to open up Betfair and go to their exchange to bet AGAINST this win from happening. That way no matter what the outcome we won’t have lost our full £5.

Login to BetFair, click on EXCHANGE at the top and use the little search bar at the top to search for the team / horse / whatever you are betting on.

Once you find it you should get a screen that looks a bit like this:

make money from matched betting

The pink section is all we care about on the exchange. Just to help you out a bit here, when we BACK an event at the bookie (ie Vitesse are going to win) we always LAY it at the Exchange (ie Vitesse are NOT going to win and will either lose or draw). We then have every eventuality covered.

As you can see the odds for laying Vitesse are 1.58. Ideally we want our odds to be as close together as possible so this isn’t a bad match at all.

Before we place our back and lay bet we need to use a special matched betting calculator. There are lots around but I find TrickyBet is a good one to use. Open up the calculator are we need to enter a few numbers.

FOR MY EXAMPLE:

The Bet Type is Normal

The Bet is £5

The Back odds are 1.5 (You would enter your OWN odds here normally)

The Lay odds are 1.58 (You would enter your OWN odds here normally)

The Lay Commission needs to be set at 5% as that is the commission that Betfair charge for using their exchange.

Press Calculate and your calculator should now look something like this (although obviously with YOUR odds in it):

make money from matched betting

By looking at the bottom we can see we are going to make a very small 34p loss doing this qualifying bet. That is ACCEPTABLE as we will be making our money with the free bet. We nearly ALWAYS make a very small loss on the qualifying bet – we only do the qualifying bet to get access to the free bet.

Go back to the coral website and now place £5 on your chosen bet (in this case Vitesse)

Deposit around £10 into Betfair and now place your lay bet. Simply click on the pink Lay odds for your chosen bet and put in the value that the calculator tells you to which is this case is £4.90

Out qualifying bet is now done. No matter what the outcome we will have made a 34p loss, it doesn’t matter if the bet wins at the bookie or wins at the exchange.

After the event has happened (or sometimes as soon as you have placed your qualifying bet) you will get given a £20 FREE BET from Coral. Now it is time for us to make our money.

Here we can go for whatever odds we want, I would suggest something around 4.0/5.0/6.0 as you won’t need too much money in the exchange then.

Find a race / match that offers odds on the coral website of 4.0 or above.

For this example I have decided to bet on a horse called Faintly with odds of 6.0 in the 7pm race at Wolverhampton:

make money from matched betting

When I look him up on Betfair I see his lay odds are 6.2:

make money from matched betting

So we have all the figures we need and now it’s back to the TrickyBet calculator.

FOR MY EXAMPLE

The Bet Type is SNR (Stake Not Returned)

The Bet is £20 (This is the value of our free bet)

The Back odds are 6 (You would enter your OWN odds here normally)

The Lay odds are 6.2 (You would enter your OWN odds here normally)

The Lay Commission needs to be set at 5% as that is the commission that Betfair charge for using their exchange.

make money from matched betting

So as we can see we are going to make £15.45 profit (which minus our 35p loss from the qualifier is £15.10). We have done this in the time it takes us to place 2 bets and it is GUARANTEED PROFIT

Next we need to go back to coral and place our £20 free bet on our chosen horse. Once you select it on the right you will get an option to select to ‘Use your free bet’ simply choose it and put £20 on your chosen event.

Over at the exchange (Betfair) I am going to lay £16.26 just like it is telling me to. I need a liability of £84.55 so deposit some more money into Betfair if you need it. Liability is just BetFairs way of wanting a small guarantee for your lay bet as the chances of 1 horse NOT winning the race is FAR higher. Don’t worry, you will either win at the bookie or the exchange again so you won’t be out of pocket.

And that’s IT!

If you follow those instructions you will have made £15 for a few minutes work – totally RISK FREE and TAX FREE as you don’t pay tax on UK Gambling winnings.

So, how do you go from £15 to £1000 a month – VERY EASILY.

What I’ve just shown you is just the mechanics of Matched Betting. Basically I am just showing you how it works and how you can make money from it. What you really need is a Matched Betting service that can spoon speed you offers each and every day with full instructions and idiot proof video guides showing you what to click and where when placing your bets.

If you’re the sort of person who likes to make an informed decision, The Money Shed Blog has both an in-depth Profit Accumulator Review and OddsMonkey Review that compares the two main matched betting services in the UK with extremely detailed reviews to help you choose one that is going to give you what you want for your budget.

If you want to just crack on, one very decent service is Profit Accumulator

make money from matched betting

The Matched Betting service I recommend above ALL OTHERS is without doubt Profit Accumulator. Profit Accumulator is a Matched Betting service which like I mentioned basically feed you an endless stream of offers from the bookies that you can take advantage of. Instead of having to go out and find them yourself you simply login to their website and you are presented with a link for each bookie free bet offer available which gives you not just instructions on how to do the offer but also a video showing you what to click on.

Profit Accumulator offers a range of services for betting, helping you to find the greatest offers for you and the best ways to win big. This site can be used with both betting and bingo sites such as www.boomtownbingo.com and works fantastically across many different platforms. Profit Accumulator has over 20,000 users worldwide, and boasts an excellent dedicated support system that are focused on providing the best service for you.

You also get access to a fantastic bit of software called ‘OddsMatching’ which lets you select a bookie from a drop down list and filter the bets. So if you wanted to find all the bets available ABOVE 4.0 on Coral. Instead of manually having to find them you just go to the OddsMatching page, choose coral from the drop down list and enter 4.0 into one of the filter boxes and you get presented with all available bets and links directly to them. It saves you a huge amount of time and lets you just get on with earning money as quickly as you can.

If you are already an existing member with a number of high street bookies don’t worry about it, new free bet offers for existing customers with different bookies appear every few days throughout the week and Profit Accumulator will direct you to those as well as it is updated throughout the day. With the football season having just started again there is MAJOR money to be made with Matched Betting as the likes of Paddy Power and Skybet regularly offer Bet £20 get £10 type deals on every match that is shown on Sky/BT at the moment. There is SO MUCH MORE to matched betting in terms of what you can earn but I just wanted to give you a small taste and show you that is possible to make money from it.

If you want to sign up to Profit Accumuator it costs £17.99 a month, with that price going down to £14.99 after a year, or £150 a year (don’t worry about those costs as you will make MORE than the money you need to pay for it without question). They also offer a FREE TIER membership where you can earn £45 TODAY from offers they present you with and then you can either take you £45 and leave or pay them some money to get access to their services.

make money from matched bettingHopefully this post has made some sense to you. If you have any questions then just leave a comment below and I will help out as best you can and if you are looking for other ways to earn money then make sure to check out our ever popular 20 Work from home jobs for Mums and How to Get Money Fast blog posts which cover over £5000+ in income for you to earn from home! For something that’s more about fun that guaranteed income, try a promo code for Text 888Ladies.

How to guide to matched betting

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